Simbol strikes rich vein of minerals for electric cars

Simbol MaterialsJune 17, 2011, San Francisco Business Times – The demand for electric cars is fueling growth at Simbol Materials.

The Pleasanton-based startup is commercializing a process to extract metal from the earth without damaging the environment. The minerals — including lithium, manganese and zinc — are essential components of batteries for electric cars, as well as other energy storage, agricultural and pharmaceutical applications.

CEO Luka Erceg said the advantage of the process is that it’s cost competitive with traditional hard rock mining and salt flat processes but requires very little land, water or energy. Simbol licensed a mineral production technology from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and further developed the process in the past few years.

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